For Andrea and John Robinson, phenomenal food and wine pairings happen in their own home. Of course, that's what you would expect from Napa's famous foodie couple.
However, with their Flavor! Napa Valley 2012 event, Big Time Crush, the expert duo showed the audience that with the right knowledge, excellent pairings can happen in any home.
Below, we share with you their date night favorites, including Napa wine recommendations and pairing tips.
Food: Truffled Popcorn
Tip: Air pop your popcorn, adding butter and truffle salt to taste.
Wine: A sparkling white wine such as Shramsberg Blanc de Blanc
Note: This is a truly addictive pairing. Once you pop, you probably won't stop.
Food: Seared steak with sweet corn and vanilla bean salsa
Tip: To keep a delicious crunch, don't over cook the corn.
Note: The sweet flavors of the salsa play off the sweet flavors of the chardonnay. It's a truly happy marriage of food and wine.
Food: Seared steak with guacamole
Tip: Add a little liquid smoke to the guacamole for some extra oomph. However, avoid adding peppers as it will clash with the wine.
Note: Sauvignon Blanc is the default wine for Mexican food. Notice how steak is paired with a white wine. This is because you always pair wine according to the preparation, not the protein.
Food: Seared steak with basil pesto
Tip: You can store leftover basil pesto in ice cube trays for future use.
Note: Red wine with pesto seems like a strange combination, but the lemon in the pesto balances out the acidity in the wine.
Food: Seared steak with mushroom duxelles
Tip: Make sure all the liquid in your duxelles has evaporated.
Note: The earthiness of both the dish and wine is what makes this pairing work.
Food: Seared steak with barbeque sauce
Tip: Choose a barbeque sauce that doesn't have a lot of sugar.
Wine: Frog's Leap Zinfandel
Note: The bold flavors of the young and bold Zin will stand up to the flavors of the barbeque sauce.